How Do I Know if I Have Herpes or Something Else

Genital herpes is a viral infection that may cause blisters and open sores on the genitals. It is a type of sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).

Genital Herpes (caused by HSV-2 in the majority of cases) is a sexually transmitted infection that is passed on through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Herpes has no cure and will remain in the body for a lifetime, however will remain dormant between outbreaks. Genital Herpes usually affects the skin around the genitals causing sores and blisters. The infection may be irritating and sometimes painful, but usually does not lead to serious health problems.

75% of women will experience thrush in their lifetime and may mistake it for Genital Herpes. Similar symptoms include vaginal discharge, irritation, burning, redness and soreness. However, it is unlikely that sores and blisters will appear with thrush.

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What Can Be Mistaken for Genital Herpes

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Antiviral medicines may be used to help reduce and prevent symptoms of genital herpes and speed up the healing of an outbreak, such as:

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If you have blisters or sores on or around your genital region, rectum, or mouth, it could be a sign of genital herpes.

So, what might sores that look like Herpes symptoms but are not be? Irritation from shaving, redness, ingrown hairs and thrush symptoms can all be mistaken for Herpes as the sores can look very similar to the small red bumps and ulcers Herpes causes. STD testing is the most reliable way of finding out if you have herpes.

There is no cure for genital herpes, most symptoms occur during the first few years. After that, the virus causes mild to no symptoms.

How Do I Know if I Have Herpes or Something Else

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To help reduce the pain of genital herpes during an outbreak, home remedies include:

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Healthy Resources

Some people with Genital Herpes only develop mild symptoms that might be mistaken for either a different STI or other health concerns. These may include:

If blisters or sores are present on the genitals, tests used to diagnose herpes or to rule out other conditions that can be mistaken for genital herpes include:

What Could be Mistaken for Herpes

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A number of different conditions could be mistaken for genital herpes. Treatment for each condition may be different, which is why it is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Conditions that may resemble genital herpes include:

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What Is the Treatment for Genital Herpes?

Many people with Genital Herpes don’t know that they have it; usually only one in three people will develop symptoms. However, some may develop mild symptoms that could be mistaken for something else. Should symptoms present, they will develop between two and twelve days post-exposure and may include:

Ingrown hairs are often caused by shaving, but can occur naturally. If you have ingrown hair, you may notice small, tender red bumps and blisters. Unlike Genital Herpes, however, ingrown hairs typically develop as isolated bumps. Genital Herpes usually develops in clusters, although can appear as a single lesion.

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